Democrats Press For Minimum Wage Increase During Lame-Duck Session

Date: November 14, 2014

However, Job Gains May Be Killing Momentum

With
the Senate returning to Washington for its lame-duck session on Wednesday,
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (expected to become Minority Leader in the
next Congress) reiterated his call for action on an increase in the minimum
wage. Reid cited the passage of minimum wage increases on ballot initiatives in
four “very red states” on election day as a sign that there is significant
public support for the move. Reid added, “Republicans outside this building
don’t object to giving American workers a livable wage.”

However, the recent resurgence of the jobs market may be taking some of the
wind out of the drive to increase the Federal minimum wage. Bureau of Labor
Statistics data shows that for each of the last nine months, the economy has
added at least 200,000 jobs. That’s the longest such stretch since the 1990s. A
rise in hiring is generally a prerequisite to an increase in upward wage
pressure.

What This Means For Small Business:

While a number of states and
municipalities have moved to increase their minimum wages this
year, it will take some time to see the effects, like job loss. Recent
NFIB studies in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York
show the massive job loss caused by minimum wage proposals in those states.

Additional Reading:

Roll Call reports on the
jobs gains and their impact on the minimum wage debate, while the Las Vegas Sun and McClatchy report on
Reid’s comments.

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